- I had pancakes and bacon for breakfast today. It reminded me of a great Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. When you think about it, pancakes and bacon are pretty barbaric. Let’s see, I’ll mix some flour with cow squeezings then drop in an chicken egg embryo. Swirl it all around and throw it on a skillet. Then I’ll fry thin strips of pork belly and have that on the side. Eww.
- Sometimes it’s best not to think too much about these things. I once had eye surgery while I was awake. Wanna hear about it? First, the surgeon sticks a needle in your eye….What? Okay, I’ll stop.
- For lunch I had a tuna fish sandwich. When you open up a can of tuna, it’s like a mystery substance. It doesn’t look like it could possibly be part of an actual animal. Just in case somebody might happen to identify it, we mix it up with mayo (more chicken embryos) and some random bits of veggies. We’d probably eat a lot less tuna if there was a tuna eye in the can. Ewww.
- I have no idea what made me think of these things. I blame the weather. The temperature dropped over 20 degrees last night. I went out for a bike ride to beat the approaching rain. I lost the race. It rained for the last seven miles of a 23-mile zig-zag ride through Fort Hunt, Virginia. I was pretty comfortable except for my toes. They were cold and wet. After over 50 years of bicycling, I still have no cure for cold wet toes.
- I saw my friend Nancy. She was out walking with Mr. Nancy. It was before the rain started. They were wearing shorts. Climactic optimists. Nancy was wearing one of those knit skating caps with a ball on top. She’s ambiclimactic.
- I saw a family watching a tree being removed from their backyard. It was a majestic old tree. It must have been 100 years old. I’ll bet it was magnificent. When I rode by it was nothing more than a thick 30-foot wood pole. Maybe they needed space for a new addition to their house. I’ll bet the addition isn’t half as awesome as the tree was. These people are barbarians.
- Cold, wet weather is described as raw. Our brains can’t handle raw weather. We forget about it. Then it’s here and we are surprised. In the northeast, they don’t have autumn; they have raw. There are few things more miserable than watching a football game in the raw. Maybe that’s where the RAW RAW RAW cheer came from. (Sorry. Stole that from Firesign Theater.)
- How raw is it? It’s so raw that I didn’t go out to buy a box of toe warmers for the days ahead. Tomorrow will be rawer. Is rawer a word? Go outside and say rawer three times real fast. The folks in the white coats will come and get you soon. You should probably go inside now.
- The saddest part of raw is the leaves. They are all coming down. Our next door neighbors have a gigantic maple tree in their front yard. It always puts on a great show. Show’s over. Nothing to see here. Move along.
The tell tale sign of Christmas is the arrival of Christmas decorations. There’s a house down the street from me that lit up, albeit in purple, one of its trees in October. I’ve seen outdoor trees on display elsewhere. Then there was that Corona Beer Christmas ad on TV last night. Nothing says Christmas like beer that tastes like skunk pee.
The tell tale sign that the good weather days are behind us is a cold, rainy day. I grew up in upstate New York when cold rainy days were the norm in October and November. There’s no way to sugar coat it, cold rainy days suck. Unless you have the right clothing.
I have the right clothing. (You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?)
So out I went at 7:10 on Little Nellie. I was quite comfortable under my Marmot Precip rain gear. Over the weekend I bought some neoprene covers for the front of my shoes. Somewhat unexpectedly they kept my shoes dry. I dug out my old Novara (the REI house brand) rain gloves. These suckers are long, they go well up my forearm and have a cinching cord in the wrist. The rain was even kind enough not to turn into a deluge for the commute. My only problem was seeing. Water on my glasses made navigation a bit of an annoyance. Lucky for me, there was hardly anybody else on the Mount Vernon Trail.
Tonight I expected less of the same, the rain having supposedly moved through the area. A brisk tailwind made the ride a, forgive the expression, breeze. It wasn’t a breeze for a bike commuter on the boardwalk at the TR Bridge. He was coming down from the bridge when he hit his brakes to avoid a turning cyclist. Thud. He was down on his side in a split second. He popped up and started walking his bike. He said he was okay so I pedaled homeward. It was seriously dark the whole way. In Belle Haven Park I saw two lights in the leaves next to the trail. Next thing I knew a racoon was running across the trail in front of me. He bounded up onto a tree trunk and scurried up the tree. The rest of the ride home involved not falling on the wet leaves. I succeeded.
Tomorrow is a whole ‘nother story. The forecast is calling for temperatures in the low to mid 20s with strong headwinds. This is the kind of weather we get in late January. I am prepared to wear everything I’ve got for the ride. I’m going all Charlie Brown. If I fall off my bike, I’ll just lie there on the ground like a felled tree.
Or I’ll drive.